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Dion: A Rock Legend Opens Up View Comments
By Dion DiMucci and Mike Aquilina

In 1958, we went from glory to glory, headlining with the likes of Eddie Cochran (“Summertime
Blues”), Gene Vincent (“Be-Bop-A-Lula”) and Bobby Darin (“Splish Splash”). Bobby was another Italian boy from the Bronx, a few years my senior and more hip to the ways of the business world.

He became a close friend and a mentor, giving me good advice about how to read my contracts and file my taxes. Bobby grew up the same way I did and had many of the same worries. He spoke to my frugal nature, my inner Mom.

A lot of early rockers got jerked around and bled dry by their agents, their record companies and the crowd of scammers that follow the money wherever it goes. If I managed to survive rock stardom with a couple nickels to rub together, no small credit goes to Bobby Darin, who spoke my language and gave me free accounting lessons on the tour bus.

In the fall we got invited to join another superstar, Buddy Holly, on what was billed as “The Biggest Show of Stars.” Buddy had a streak of hits that could make DiMaggio jealous: “That’ll Be the Day,” “Peggy Sue,” “Everyday,” “Oh Boy,” “Maybe Baby” and “It’s So Easy (to Fall in Love).”

He’d only been recording for a year, but he had already established a rock-and-roll sound that everyone was mimicking. I got to know Buddy when he moved to New York in August. He’d just married a New Yorker, Maria Elena Santiago, and he was happy in his new apartment. (He’d proposed to Maria Elena on their first date.)

We spent three weeks together on “The Biggest Show of Stars,” and we established a strong relationship––friendship and mutual musical admiration. When Buddy invited me to join him on his upcoming all-star “Winter Dance Party” tour, I was honored and I didn’t hesitate to say yes.


Dion DiMucci is a multi-platinum recording artist, Grammy Award nominee and inductee in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Mike Aquilina is the author of many books, including Love in the Little Things and Angels of God (both from Servant Books). Dion and Mike co-wrote, Dion, The Wanderer Talks Truth.

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James of the Marche: Meet one of the fathers of the modern pawnshop! 
<p>James was born in the Marche of Ancona, in central Italy along the Adriatic Sea. After earning doctorates in canon and civil law at the University of Perugia, he joined the Friars Minor and began a very austere life. He fasted nine months of the year; he slept three hours a night. St. Bernardine of Siena told him to moderate his penances. </p><p>James studied theology with St. John of Capistrano. Ordained in 1420, James began a preaching career that took him all over Italy and through 13 Central and Eastern European countries. This extremely popular preacher converted many people (250,000 at one estimate) and helped spread devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus. His sermons prompted numerous Catholics to reform their lives and many men joined the Franciscans under his influence. </p><p>With John of Capistrano, Albert of Sarteano and Bernardine of Siena, James is considered one of the "four pillars" of the Observant movement among the Franciscans. These friars became known especially for their preaching. </p><p>To combat extremely high interest rates, James established <i>montes pietatis</i> (literally, mountains of charity)--nonprofit credit organizations that lent money at very low rates on pawned objects. </p><p>Not everyone was happy with the work James did. Twice assassins lost their nerve when they came face to face with him. James died in 1476 and was canonized in 1726.</p> American Catholic Blog Let us never tire of seeking the Lord—of letting ourselves be sought by him—of tending over our relationship with him in silence and prayerful listening. Let us keep our gaze fixed on him, the center of time and history; let us make room for his presence within us.

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